The UEFA Match Worth Skipping Work For
By Young Kim
The six to nine hour time difference between the United States and Europe has been the source of ire for majority of football fans in the North American region. While the MLS has improved in quality of play to the point football fans would want to flock to the stadiums on the weekends, it still stands far away from quenching our thirst for the best football the world has to offer--the UEFA Champions League.
Unfortunately the UEFA Champions League matches start at 2:45 pm ET, which means nearly every American cannot watch due to work (unless you’re a football journalist, then good for you), a university lecture, or an English Honors class in high school. Assuming you have not taken sick days or do not have a test the day of, plan ahead and pick wisely as to which match you want to watch. It would be a waste if you lied to your boss at work just to watch a 0-0 draw. If you’re debating which match is worth skipping work for, here’s a handy guide to help you make a decision. Plan well.
Just go to work instead if you plan to watch…
Atletico Madrid vs FC Barcelona
Despite being the team on “decline”, Barcelona should be able to put away Atletico Madrid at ease in the quarter-final match. Messi reinforced beliefs that Barcelona is still the team to beat after scoring a hat-trick against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu and there’s no reason to believe that they will struggle against the inferior Madrid team. Barca should be able to handily defeat Atletico Madrid 2-0 in the first leg and you don’t have to be a football expert to know that. Just go to work or don’t skip class and comfortably know that Barcelona has this match in the bag.
Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund
Don’t fall for the hype of the rematch of the century. After the German side shocked the world by handily defeating the Spanish giants in last year’s edition of the tournament, they have struggled to recapture that magic in their domestic league and the Champions League matches. Aside from the injury to Marco Reus, the German club’s 2-1 loss in the second leg to FC Zenit exposed major holes that Real Madrid’s wing players will certainly capitalize on the upcoming match. Even if Jurgen Klopp will have the wealth of pairing Robert Lewandowski and the recovering Reus together up top, it might not be enough to keep up with the onslaught that Christiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale has waiting for them. This rematch will less climatic as marketed. Go to work.
Manchester United vs Bayern Munich
Despite a disappointing season, the Red Devils are looking to show the world that they’re still one of the top clubs after downing Olympiakos 3-0 in the second leg. For Manchester United fans, there’s a reason to believe that the team has finally got their act together and are beginning to play like the team they’re supposed to be, but even if that’s true, is it enough to beat the incredible efficient football machine called Bayern Munich? The Bavarian side has not lost a step since they won the UEFA Champions League last season and have nearly claimed the Bundesliga title this season. Will the resurgent Manchester United actually put up a decent fight? The first leg would prove to be intriguing but likely will result a lopsided affair.
Skip work or school on April 8
PSG vs Chelsea
The most spectacular club in the UEFA Champions League, let alone all of Europe has been Paris Saint Germaine. This doesn’t go to say that they are the best club in all of Europe, but they are the most entertaining team to watch. Chelsea cannot afford to allow PSG to control the tempo of the game, let alone allow the French outfit any opportunity for a shot on goal. As seen from the Galatasaray match, the London based club loves to expose open holes in their opponent’s defense in the counter-attack, which makes an up-tempo, possession-minded team like PSG the perfect matchup. Whether or not you’re a fan of either clubs, this match will guarantee to keep you at the edge of your seat. Call in sick at work, don’t bother to show up for a lecture, or hop the fence before third period because you don't want to regret watching this unforgettable classic.